Republicans aim to defund DHS disinformation board

House Republicans on Wednesday introduced a bill to defund the recently announced Disinformation Governance Board within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the latest in a series of GOP actions against the panel that they have deemed an Orwellian “Ministry of Truth”

The bill, led by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), prohibits funds from flowing to activities to carry out the Disinformation Governance Board or any “substantially similar” entity.

“The President’s Ministry of Truth is just an un-American abuse of power, which is a scheme conjured up by Washington Democrats to grant themselves the authority to control free speech,” McCarhty said in a press conference on Wednesday.

Reps. Lauren Boebert (Colo.), House GOP Conference Vice Chairman Mike Johnson (La.), August Pfluger (Texas), House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (La.), House GOP Chair Elise Stefanik (N.Y.) and Homeland Security Committee ranking member John Katko (N.Y.) are co-sponsors of the bill.

DHS has released few details about how the board will work, and a clumsy rollout led to swift attacks. In a fact sheet released last week, the department said that the board was “established with the explicit goal of ensuring these protections are appropriately incorporated across DHS’s disinformation-related work and that rigorous safeguards are in place.”

The department also said that it has dealt with disinformation relating to scammers and smugglers distributing false information about the border and taking advantage of natural disaster victims.

Boebert dismissed the possibility of working with the board to counter disinformation from cartels.

“This board needs to be defended and needs to be dismantled because this is not a tool to go after the cartels. We have plenty of tools that we can use to go after the cartels,” Boebert said. “It seems like it was created to terrorize the American people rather than to prevent terrorists from engaging in our country. So I would not give any credence to this disinformation governance board, this department of propaganda.”

Republicans are taking other actions to move against the panel, too.

Last week, 170 House Republicans signed a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas seeking answers about the disinformation governance board. The House Judiciary Committee GOP also invited Nina Jankowicz, head of the board, to speak to the committee.

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